“The Tory minister ruthlessly slashing the pensions of millions of public sector workers could be in line to pocket a £731,000 retirement pot,” reports the Daily Mirror. “Francis Maude, 58, is among a number of Government ministers amassing vast, taxpayer-funded nest eggs. But while the millionaire can look forward to a potential £43,000-plus a year income in his old age, he is cutting schemes for nurses, teachers and public sector workers.
The shocking sum is almost eight times the average £5,600 civil service employee’s pot. Union chiefs yesterday branded Cabinet Office Minister Mr Maude and his well-to-do colleagues shameless hypocrites. Len McCluskey, of Unite, which calculated the figures, said: “A typical public sector worker would have to work almost three lifetimes to get a pension like many of the ministers who are attacking our public services.
“Unite supports good pensions for all workers including MPs. What we don’t support is a cabinet of millionaires attacking the pensions of the men and women who care for our sick, teach our children and keep our streets safe. It’s another example of how out of touch the Government is.” Mark Serwotka, of the civil service PCS union, added: “They’ll be completely untouched by their cuts.”
MPs can grow their pension pot by up to one 40th of their final salary – currently £65,738 – each year in return for putting in 11.9% of their wage packet. Senior ministers, who earn more, can also pay in at the same rate and receive one 40th of their total frontbench earnings on top of their Parliamentary pension.
Veteran Tory Mr Maude, who is masterminding the showdown with unions, earns about £98,700. He will have chalked up 27 years as an MP and eight as a minister during two spells in Parliament if he keeps his job until the next election in 2015. If he paid in at this top rate he would get a pension over £60,000, according to Unite. Payouts are limited to two-thirds of an MP’s salary but it still means he could get £43,825.
David Cameron has surrendered his Prime Minister’s pension, which is worth half of his final salary in the top job, but still benefits from the generous pay and perks. Contributing at the top rate, Mr Cameron – already worth an estimated £3million – would be entitled to £32,977 by 2015. His even richer side-kick George Osborne would get the same. It is almost six times the typical £5,600 public sector pension. Someone in a private scheme would have to save up more than half a million pounds.
Deputy PM Nick Clegg could retire on £26,403 a year if he quits Parliament at the next election. Mr Alexander would get £26,403 while Business Secretary and Lib Dem Vince Cable would take home £39,551.
Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary busy demolishing the NHS, would pick up an identical amount if he opted for the top rate but a spokesman said last night he had chosen a lower one. Fellow Tory Eric Pickles, who has been inflicting brutal cuts on town halls across the country, could rack up £43,825.”